The design systems between us

When starting a project, I’ll often ask a new client how a non-engineer might make a change in their product’s design. For example, if a designer wanted to update a line of CSS, does an engineer need to implement it for them? If the designer can do it themselves, what technologies will they need to install? What component structures or syntaxes will they need to learn? How will their work be reviewed, and by whom? Can the designer deploy the change themselves?

I’m not asking these questions to suggest a designer should be able to directly update the design.Footnote 1 Rather, they’re helpful in evaluating the amount of collaborative friction that’s built into the product’s technical architecture.